My Blogging By Mail package arrived yesterday from the wonderful Antonia at Food, Glorious Food! She packed a box full of great stuff from London, and I couldn't be more excited to make my through all the items. All the pieces were very thoughtful and, for the most part, evocative of Britain. She also paid great attention to the kinds of things I post, and none of these gifts could have been more perfect for me.
In the box were:
- a butterfly cookie cutter (a very intricate cutter to match the butterfly wrapping paper that I tore off all too quickly)
- a teapot cookie cutter, which she deemed "very British"
- crystalized rose and violet petals (I don't think I've mentioned how much I love rose, but she picked up on it anyway)
- a Green and Blacks Maya Gold chocolate bar - I might use her suggestion of making brownies with this chocolate...
- Shortbread (yum!)
- Jaffa Cakes, plus a whole explaination of the "are Jaffa cakes a cake or a biscuit/cookie" question (reminded me of the "are burritos sandwiches" argument from last year).
- Bouquet Garni sachets for red meat and for white meat (this is awesome because I'm not always the best at seasoning dishes correctly)
- Freeze-dried Kaffir lime leaves (ideal for Thai food, but I had a great martini with a lime leaf as a garnish the other day, so I might have to try that at home as well)
- Cadbury Caramel Egg (British Cadbury is so different than what you can get in the states, so I'm eager to eat this one)
- "The Little Book of Chefs Tips" (every cook can use more tips, or at the very least, a refresher)
- a mini grater (possibly the smallest one I've ever seen)
- a french bean slicer, Antonia's favorite little gadget (I might have to go buy some beans just to give it a try!)
- a rose-scented melt for the bath (because you need to relax a little after standing over a hot stove)
- some food and wine pairing notes (so helpful, because I know close to nothing about wine)
- BBC Good Food "101 Cakes and Bakes" (the recipes look awesome, and I'm sure you'll see some of my attempts soon)
Making the recipe book even better, Antonia stuck some post-it notes on some particularly interesting or typical recipes. It was great fun to flip through the book, looking for the next one.
As for the Jaffa Cakes, they have a very odd consistancy, but just from eating that small package, I can understand why people get so addicted to them. The cake is weirdly dense, and the combination of the orange jelly and the chocolate with the cake is fantastic. Definitely a unique snack. I won't be calling that number yet, but that's because there were only three in the package ;)
So thanks again to Antonia for all the thoughtful gifts and to Stephanie for putting together the whole Blogging By Mail event!